Off-grid living: more and more people all over the globe are (re)discovering this truly sustainable way of life. Here you can read all about the benefits of this alternative lifestyle.

1 Autonomy

By living off-grid you can make yourself less dependent on companies and governments, and more dependent on yourself. The decisions companies make may not align with you philosophically, and governments can further legislation that might not suit your needs. Or maybe you just like to be in charge of things. Off-grid living is a way to take control of your own life and empower yourself. As humans we need resources in order to survive: we become more autonomous when we are in control of our access and use of these.

2 Creativity

If you decide to go off-grid, then that means altering your home, converting an object, or building your home. This is a great challenge and a great way of expressing yourself. You can build a dome with earthbags, make a compost toilet in your home or garden, build a house with straw bales, or a roundhouse from the cob. You can design it yourself, and it will be an expression of who you are. Or you can recycle a bus, or a boat, and make it into your off-grid paradise. Or maybe you already have found your paradise, and are looking for ways to make it off-grid.

Going off-grid requires creative thinking processes and practical solutions: how can you integrate a gray water system in your house, or make sure that you can collect the water from your roof? How can you cook without gas and water your plants without tap water?

Creating your own home with the various uses of water and energy integrated into it, thereby becoming the architect of your life – can add so much fulfillment to your life.

3 Community

Living off-grid can offer great opportunities for groups of people, seeking a natural and free way of life. By setting up an off-grid infrastructure together, communities can thrive. For example, groups of people can go out into the desert, buy land, and set up off-grid water supply, solar panels, and a permaculture edible forest. By sharing the off-grid infrastructure, a lot of time and money can be saved.

Many people who live off-grid in communities, also grow food together, homeschool children together, and build communal buildings that serve as social and learning centers. The world is becoming more and more globalized, and off-grid living is a way to stimulate decentralization, empowering individuals and communities to thrive in alternative ways. These days many people are building off-grid parallel societies, local and communal.

4 Enhancing your skill sets

We are living in a technologically advanced world, where construction and use of resources are complicated. Unless you are an engineer, you probably do not know a lot about the construction of modern buildings for example, or how to provide your own electricity. Luckily, going off-grid does not mean we have to forsake technology and go back to Medieval times. It does mean that we can make optimal use of our resources and learn skills along the way.

Going off-grid means learning about how to make a battery, a water filter, how to start a fire, how to irrigate the land with rainwater, and so on. We are basically relearning how to take care of ourselves, in a truly sustainable way. What if we know all about sales, or the law, but we do not even know how to start a fire and filter water? Off-grid living means focusing on basic skills, and knowing how to make use of resources.

5 Living the natural life

Living off-grid means connecting to nature, to the elements. The sun can power our solar panels and can enable us to cook food in a sun oven, the wind can power our DIY windmill that powers the house, the earth in a cob or earthbag home can keep out the heat and warm the house when it is cold, and fire can keep us warm and enable us to cook inside.

Off-grid living teaches us how to work together with the elements. It means that we may be cutting logs, carrying them to the stove, making the fire, and finally enjoying the heat. Yes, that costs energy, but just compare this to turning on a heater, and you know that there really is no comparison. The fulfillment of a real fire, that lovely warmth: it is an experience beyond words.

We are part of nature, like it or not. In the civilized world, we tend to forget about this. But man is part of nature, has always been part of it, and living off-grid makes us remember that and respect it. Working with nature, instead of against or apart from it, satisfies man on a deeper level. This means the quality of life.

6 Making optimal use of resources

We do not need to burden the earth with our ways of living, and we do not need artificial ways to live sustainably. Life can be simple yet beautiful and comfortable. Off-grid living can provide for this; it may be different from modern ways of living, but by no means less.

The great thing about off-grid living is that materials and resources are not wasted; on the contrary, they are used and reused. Rainwater that is collected can be filtered and used for drinking water, or to irrigate the land. Food scraps, garden waste, and human excrement from a dry toilet can be used for biogas, which in turn can heat your home or be used to cook with.

Resources can have multiple purposes, and by optimizing these available natural resources,

there can be abundance. Off-grid living is a very efficient way of managing available resources, and it puts no pressure on the environment.

7 Preparedness

What if the SHTF (shit hits the fan)? What if all those crazy preppers out there in their bunkers were right all along, and doomsday has arrived? Well, doomsday or not, we can see global changes all around us. There was a pandemic affecting our lives, and this has caused problems in the supply chain. There are geopolitical tensions, escalating now in Ukraine. There are changes in the climate, for example, the bush fires in Siberia, excessive rainfall in Australia, and snowstorms in Texas. Cyber attacks are increasing: what if the grid goes down? When a calamity strikes, being off-grid can offer safety, for your loved ones and the community.

However, off-grid living does not mean living in fear. Rather it means taking responsibility and making sure you and your loved ones can counter adverse situations if need be. We are so used to looking to the government to save us, that we tend to forget that we as individuals have a responsibility to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. Our lives have become so comfortable that we have forgotten how to survive physically, and off-grid living reminds us to pay attention to this.

8 Countering inflation

Due to excessive money printing, Covid restrictions, and war in Ukraine, commodity prices are going through the roof. Off-grid living is a way for you and your loved ones to protect yourself from rising prices, such as outrageous gas and electricity bills. Your costs will be diminished drastically by heating your home with a wood stove and using biogas, for example. Or by using a small windmill to generate electricity for your home. This will help you counter rising prices, and help you maintain your standard of living, even when the global or national economy sinks into a recession or even depression.

All currencies devaluate over time: off-grid living is a way to lower your costs of living and counter inflation. As you can see below in the chart, the CPI (consumer price index) has risen: prices have gone up, diminishing the purchasing power of consumers. Energy has risen dramatically: time to go off the grid!

Consumer Price Index – 12-month percentage change

Source: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics

9 Making a safe investment

In these changing times, asset markets are unstable. The stock market is very high but has recently seen lows, and real estate markets in Western countries are inflated. Putting your money in the bank will not earn you much; in Europe, some banks even charge negative rates for savings. Crypto markets can be volatile and are faced with regulations and bans from several countries. What if all the bubbles burst, caused by a black swan event, and the banks collapse? This may or may not happen, but what it comes down to, is that you want your money to be safe. And that means taking as few as possible risks.

Investing intangible assets, such as land, is a way to put your money in a safe space.

Investing in land and off-grid living can help you cut down costs, be independent, anticipate changes that may lay ahead, and ensure that you have access to resources and basic necessities. You may not control the way the world is turning, but you can control your own position.

As an investment, the land will keep its worth: land can be used to build on, and food can be grown on land. It will always have value and can withstand the booms and busts of the times.

Below in the chart, you can see the bull market in the S&P 500, which started after the crash when Covid hit the West in March 2020. However, you can see the dips and downward trends that have started recently.

Source: www.macrotrends.net

10 Prosperity

Living off-grid means that we can live in abundance, having plenty of water and energy. Abundance makes us happy and makes us thrive. When we thrive, we can give back to the world. All of the above-listed reasons make us flourish, which forms a sharp contrast with the inflation and shortages of commodities and energy that are rampant in today’s day and age. We can prosper: we just have to facilitate it and make it happen.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading this article. Please stay tuned for more information on related subjects – all meant to increase the quality of your life.

Usha Uppal

Usha has a Bachelor degree in History of Art and Master degree in Film and Television (University of Amsterdam). She has long had an interest in alternative ways of living. After renovating a former school building in the North of The Netherlands and transforming it into a homestead with a tiny house Airbnb rental, Usha and her family decided to emigrate to Nicaragua, where they can truly live in harmony with nature and build accordingly.

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